It's a business deal. In exchange for money, I touch the heads, necks, and shoulders of my clients. People surrender to me, some in a slow, steady manner, like a door inching its open. Some jump right in, like two slaps of the hand from a Flamenco dancer. And, finally, some clients have a unpredictable time in the chair. However they decide to show up, whether conscious or not, it's an intimate dance in the mirror. There we are, sometimes strangers, looking for ways in which we can connect, searching for the similarities. I comb, shampoo, run my fingers through their hair. I tug, pull, stretch, this way and that. I imagine who they might have been as a kid, I wonder at their particular wiring. How did they get to where they are? All the while, learning a great deal about myself, and them. My caresses continue to relax or repel them. The expectation is high for that hour.
And in the end, I am paid, in more ways than are countable. And they leave, with maybe a bit more skip in their step.